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Breaking News: Cathy Hughes Ministry awarded 3 contracts to her own company totaling millions
April 25, 2019 1,929 Views

According to a statement from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), the Party β€œβ€¦has received information that, contrary to the claims made by Minister Cathy Hughes, several contracts were awarded by her own Ministry to her company, Videomega Productions.” The Company owned and operated by Cathy Hughes in a period of just about four months received over $10.3M in contracts.
Notably, Videomega Productions was awarded three contracts from the Minister of Public Telecommunications. β€œIn Hughes’ Ministry of Public Telecommunications three contracts were awarded to Videomega Productions:

1. June 4, 2018 – Advertisement of Vacancies – $939,738

2. June 25, 2018 – Facebook Page – $119,670

3. September 21, 2018 – CTU/ITC Roadshow 2018 – $2,291, 128”

Further, the company received another five contracts from various other Ministries. β€œVideomega Productions benefited, also, from another five contracts awarded by other ministries.

Ministry of Public Infrastructure:

4. September 19, 2018 – Television advertisement – $256,500

Ministry of Business:

5. September 28, 2018 – Video for Caribbean Tourism Diaspora Forum – $198,800

Ministry of Education:

6. July 12, 2018 – Video Production – $1,487,700

Ministry of Natural Resources:  

7. May 25, 2018 – Artwork – $1,420,115

Ministry of Public Health:

8. July 27, 2018 – Advertisement – $3,592,236”

Notably, according to the PPP, β€œGuyanese remember that Minister Hughes, on April 15, 2019, said: β€œI have taken no decision in my capacity as Minister of Public Telecommunications or in my personal capacity which has been the subject of a conflict of interest.””

Just last week, the husband of Minister Cathy Hughes, Nigel Hughes, in his capacity at a lawyer, dispatched a letter to People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive, Gail Teixeira, over comments made about Hughes’ conflict of interest – acting as a Minister, while her company benefited from Government contracts.

Cathy Hughes wanted $10M in compensation.

Last edited by Django

My Videomega interest was declared to the Integrity Commission – Minister Hughes- denies participating in contract award


Apr 16, 2019

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes, has categorically denied using her office or participating in the decision-making process that led to the award of a contract to her media company, Videomega Productions Ltd.
The statement by Hughes, a senior executive of the Alliance For Change (AFC), which forms the smaller faction of the Coalition Government, would come amid a raging debate over public officers and what constitutes a conflict of interest situation.
It was reported recently that Videomega owned by Hughes received $832,200 for producing ads for the oil and gas sector, on behalf of the Department of Energy.
The department, which falls under the Ministry of the Presidency, had insisted that the necessary procurement protocols were followed in awarding the contracts.
Hughes said last week that she had relinquished control in the company since assuming office.
The company itself said that the ministry does not handle the daily operations.
Yesterday, in her statement, Hughes was at pains to insist that conflict of interest scenario as contemplated by the regulations does not apply to her.
In any case, she had no knowledge that the contract was even issued.
Below in its entirety is the Minister’s statement:
β€œI would like to invite everyone’s attention to the specific provisions of the Integrity
Commission (Amendment of Code of Conduct) Order 2017 particularly the contents of Articles
4 and 5 β€œConflict of Interest” and β€œUse of Official influence.”
The specific contents of the Article 4 provide:
No person in public life shall
(a) Allow private interest to conflict with his or her public duties or improperly influence his or her conduct in public in the performance of his or her public duties.
(b) Allow the pursuit of his or her private interests to interfere with the proper discharge of his or her public duties.
Provided that any such conflict that tends to interfere with the proper discharge of his or her public duties shall be reported to the Integrity Commission for guidance on a resolution as soon as practicable in favour of public duties of the person in public life.
(2) For the purposes of this Code, a conflict of interest arises where a public official makes or participates in the making of decision in the execution of his or her office and at the same time knows or ought to have reasonably have known, that the making of that decision, there is material beneficial opportunity either directly or indirectly to further his or her private interest or that of a member of his or her family or any other person or entity.
(3) A person in public life shall
(a) In order to protect and uphold the public interest , take reasonable steps to avoid, resolve and disclose any material conflict of interest, financial or non financial, that arises or is likely to arise, between his or her personal interest and his or her official duties.
(b) Declare any conflict of interest in writing to the relevant authority as soon as possible
after becoming aware of the conflict of interest.
(c) Refuse or relinquish any outside employment, shareholding or directorship which create conflict of interest.
Article 5 of the Code provides:
Use of official influence.
No person in public life shall use his or her official influence in support of any scheme or in furtherance of any contract or proposed contract or other matter in regard of which he or she has an interest.
I have never made or participated in the making of any decision in the execution of my office as Minister of Public Telecommunications in the deliberations of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) decision to award a contract to Videomega Productions.
I have no relationship with the decision-making processes of the DOE.
The decision was entirely that of the Department of Energy.
I have never utilized any influence official or otherwise to influence the furtherance of any contract with Videomega Productions Ltd.I have never at any time prior to the public comments by MP Gail Texeira and Edward Layne from Channel 28 been aware that the DOE was considering the award of any contract to Videomega Productions.
In my declarations to the Integrity Commission made in July 2018 prior to the declarations of most members of the National Assembly including the Leader of the Opposition, I fully disclosed my interest in Videomega Productions Ltd.
I have taken no decision in my capacity as Minister of Public Telecommunications or in my personal capacity, which has been the subject of a conflict of interest.
I completely reject the not surprising but malicious accusations of Stabroek News and Anand Goolsarran.
We don’t all have private agendas with special interests to protect.
Catherine Hughes. M.P.
Minister of Public Telecommunications.

Last edited by Django

Heh heh ...

Hughes in a statement last night said that she has not been involved in the β€œday to day” running of the company since 2015 and had been unaware of the award prior to press releases yesterday by PPP/C Chief Whip Gail Teixeira and Edward Layne.

In a video statement yesterday Teixeira said that the company established by Hughes in 1993  had been granted a multi-million dollar contract with the Department to create brochures as well as television and radio advertisements.

Though the company’s website still lists Hughes as Managing Director and Executive Producer the Minister last night said  that in May 2015 upon assuming the role of Minister of Tourism she β€œrelinquished any involvement in the day to day running of Videomega Productions.”

Last edited by Former Member


Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes told the media at a party press conference today that corruption is not just at the government level.

β€œWe somehow forget is that corruption is a culture in Guyana today. It is not just at the government level. It is down all across our society,” she contended.


Hughes blasts Guyanese over corrupt culture

As the coalition administration continues to receive much criticisms over the levels of corruption in government, a sitting minister has fired back at the populace, accusing the ordinary man of being equally corrupt.

Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes told the media at a party press conference today that corruption is not just at the government level.

β€œWe somehow forget is that corruption is a culture in Guyana today. It is not just at the government level. It is down all across our society,” she contended.

Public Telecommunications Minister Catherine Hughes

β€œDown to the individual that gets stopped by the police and has a choice to pay 7,500 for the ticket but will give the police officer 5,000 and still expect us to be able to stamp it out,” Minister Hughes asserted.

The Public Telecommunications Minister was recently under fire after it was revealed that her private company, VideoMega Productions, has been receiving multiple government contracts.

But she noted that government is doing β€œeverything we can” to stamp out corruption. Some of the biggest corruption scandals of the four-year coalition government are the Durban Park Project, the Sussex Street Drug Bond, the Feasibility Study of the new Demerara Bridge, among others.

β€œWe have had a terrible history of corruption, no question about that, but we are committed to working on it and changing it,” Minister Hughes stated.

But in the same breath, she called out the regular man for also engaging in corrupt practices.

β€œEvery person, the man on the wharf who collects monies and allows the container to go through without the VAT. The person at the health centre that collects the right amounts of tablets that are delivered to the health centre, that has a scam going on, and is taking it out and selling everywhere else.

β€œThose are the stories that we also need to tell because in Guyana we have a culture. And we have to start ensuring that at all levels we are eradicating it,” she posited.

kp posted:
ksazma posted:

Django getting cranky. This Admin job is way over he head. πŸ˜€

Facebook and other similar sites moderators have to get phyco-therapy. Don"t be surprised Django gone Co Co , hope GNI has a good health Plan. Look at Ray, he needs lots of help.

I got help when the time come to moderate the forum , will take leave and recuperate.

Digicel blames govt for β€œdark ages” telecoms sector, as GTT celebrates 29 years


A day after Public Telecommunications Minister, Cathy Hughes boasted of improved Internet access, Digicel Guyana used results of a petition to lampoon the administration for foot-dragging on liberalising the telecoms sector to coincide with the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph’s 29-year old monopoly.

β€œWith Guyana stuck in the telecoms dark ages, liberalisation must happen immediately to give Guyana the internet it deserves. The stakes couldn’t be higher,” Digicel said.

Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T), which wanted a US$44 million tax debt settled before  moving ahead with liberalisation, last year May signed a secret memorandum of understanding with government committing both sides to settling all outstanding issues.

Hughes, in her address to a 2020 election rally for the governing A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) at New Amsterdam on Sunday, highlighted that smart classrooms have been created and of the 175 Information Communications Technology (ICT) hubs, 54 are in East and West Berbice.

β€œI know you understand why we doing this internet thing because guess what you could take your child or as an adult you can use the free internet. Your child go to a hub and there are all the textbooks for the Ministry of Education on all those computers,” she said. The Public Telecommunications Minister said parents could take their children to the ICT hubs to read books, conduct research and do schoolwork.”You don’t have to go to any internet place and pay 500 for half hour, you are benefitting right here,” Hughes said. She noted that government has started putting more than 200 government services Online. She criticised the then People’s Progressive Party (PPP), while in government, of squandering GYD$2 billion on a now destroyed fibre optic cable from Brazil near Lethem to the coast.

Hughes gave no indication of when the telecoms sector would be liberalised, but the PPP has been promising to do so and facilitate the landing of more fibre optic cables to help reduce the cost and improve the quality of Internet.

With the legislation ending the telephone monopoly passed over three years ago by Parliament in July 2016 and assented to by the President, Digicel said there is still no progress since the legislation has not been made law because the minister has to issue a commencement order.

Digicel  declared that, β€œthe people of Guyana are tired of poor, unreliable broadband services and remote communities not being able to realise the dream of modern communications in their homes and are fed up of limited choice and not having the benefits of true competition.”

Digicel says its campaign shows that more than 4,000 persons signed an Online petition, 52,000 views of an accompanying campaign video on YouTube, 2,086 followers on a campaign Facebook page whose posts have reached 654,990 since the start of campaign and 16,725 engagements on the Facebook page with people actively commenting and sharing posts to show their support for breaking the monopoly and liberalising the telecom industry.

CEO of Digicel Guyana, Gregory Dean welcomed the petition. β€œThe response to the petition clearly shows that Guyanese are sick of being left behind and missing out on the opportunities that come with a digital economy. Guyanese are calling on all our leaders to take the necessary steps to eliminate the monopoly immediately and liberalise our telecommunications market so that other companies can roll out the services that Guyanese have waited far too long for. I encourage everyone to get on board with this movement by signing the petition before February 8th and show that the will of the people cannot be denied.”

Release of the figures coincided with GTT’s 29th anniversary. β€œBeing in operation for 29 years is certainly a milestone to achieve. We have, and will continue to evolve with our homeland, confident that as a mature entity with sound backing, we can support our continued national growth,” GTT’s Chief Executive Officer, Justin Nedd was quoted as saying.

Digicel said bringing Guyana’s communications into the 21st century won’t just improve lives. β€œIt’s essential to developing the economy – especially now that oil production has begun with the first million barrels recently sold. As things stand, Guyana’s communication services are nowhere near ready to take full advantage of this development,” she said.

Digicel also criticised GTT for failing to  achieve universal landline coverage it was promised when the monopoly went into effect almost three decades ago. With a commitment to have telephone service in the home of every Guyanese, today less than 120,000 subscribers have been provided with what is at best a mediocre service, Digicel added.

β€œIf landline service has long been underwhelming, Guyana’s broadband service is even worse. Fibre optic service can be found in limited pockets in Georgetown and some surrounding communities, while DSL has slowly crept across the country on poorly maintained copper networks. It’s simply not good enough,” Digicel said.

GTT has in the past profiled its submarine fibre-optic link as a major achievement in providing improved Internet service.

Last edited by Former Member